Ian McKay has confirmed that talented sprinter Gordon Lord Byron will make the trip to Australia for The Championships during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
McKay, CEO of The Championships, said just under a fortnight ago that he was in negotiations with the connections of a number of European-trained gallopers and he was clearly thrilled that Gordon Lord Byron, along with Japanese mare Hana’s Gold, will give The Championships an international presence.
“Delighted dual Group 1 winner Gordon Lord Byron will travel to Sydney from Ireland for The Championships,” McKay posted on Twitter.
Gordon Lord Byron has recorded impressive results from 1200 metres to a mile during his racing career in Europe and he will be included in the nominations for both the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) and the Doncaster Mile (1600m) that will both be held at Royal Randwick on April 12.
McKay said that Gordon Lord Byron will make his Australian racing debut in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 29 before dropping back in distance for the $2.5 million T.J. Smith Stakes a fortnight later.
Gordon Lord Byron made his racing debut back in 2010, but took a while to live up to his potential and did not make his first appearance at Group level until the 2012 racing reason.
The Byron gelding finished second behind Society Rock in the Group 1 Sprint Cup (1207m) at Haydock Park in September 2012 and broke through for his first Group 1 victory in the Prix De La Foret (1400m) in France a month later.
He raced well without winning at the start of his 2013 campaign, finishing third in the Group 1 Maurice De Gheest (1300m) and fourth in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1207m), and returned to the winners stall with victory in the Group 3 Desmond Stakes (1609m) before producing the best performance of his career to win the Sprint Cup (1207m) by a dominant three lengths.
Gordon Lord Byron has not been seen at the races since he finished fourth behind Glorious Days in the Group 1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin on December 9 and he will not race in Europe before he enters quarantine in Newmarket in the middle of November in anticipation for his flight to Australia at the start of March.